Use of Biomass Fuel in Households within Limpopo Province of South Africa and Its Association with Asthma among School Children Aged Thirteen and Fourteen Years of Age. Public Health Research 2012; 2(1).
Kidi Rose Maluleke. Aalborg University Denmark, The South African Social Security Agency, Research and Development, PO Box 54684, Wierdapark 0149.
Biomass fuel is energy generated from burnt coal, wood, paraffin, dried animal dung and other agricultural waste. These substances when burnt produce toxic substances known to be detrimental to respiratory health. This cross sectional study determined the association of asthma and use of biomass fuel among 742 school children aged 13 and 14 years around Polokwane areas.
The prevalence of asthma among the exposed group was 33%. The odds ratio for the association was 1.50, p 0.01 CI 1.09; 2. 10. The association was tested under different conditions using regression techniques. In all instances the exposure variable was resilient in predicting asthma, and this way support theories of air pollution and respiratory diseases.
Findings of the study suggest complete electrification of areas in Limpopo Province to prevent use of alternative unclean energy sources in order to minimize or eliminate exposure to energy-related respiratory disease agents. For purposes of control, asthma should be made a priority disease and an asthma surveillance system be established in Limpopo Province.